ST. PAUL, Minn. - A St. Paul high school senior received a full ride to college by caddying.
It all started with a summer job that led to a life-changing opportunity. Emmanuel “Manny” Bonilla Galvez says life is a lot like the game of golf. For four years, Galvez worked as a caddy at Town and Country Club in St. Paul.
“You gotta be patient. Not get hot-headed. Just like in life you gotta take a step back sometimes,” he said.
Persistence and patience paid off. His summer job caddying led to a full ride to college. Through the Western Golf Association's Evans Scholarship for caddies, he received a full tuition and housing scholarship. This fall, he will attend the University of Minnesota. There are 56 Evans Scholars from Minnesota enrolled at the University of Minnesota.
“Seeing the congratulations was just amazing,” Galvez said. “A load of emotions. Excited. Kind of in shock that I was able to achieve that. It was tears of joy and happiness for me and my family.”
The 18-year-old said his parents are both immigrants and never finished high school. They divorced when he was younger. But he didn’t let that get in the way of pursuing his dreams.
“If you want something you gotta work for it. I have the drive to succeed in college and I gotta work hard and put 100 percent in,” he said. "More kids need to come out and be caddies. You will be inspired. I got inspired hearing all of these successful people and what they do in life. It made me want to be like them and made me work harder and harder."
During the school year, Galvez was on the basketball, soccer, swim and tennis teams at South St. Paul Secondary High School. He also managed to graduate with a 4.1. GPA.
Meanwhile, the average total value of an Evans Scholarship is an estimated $100,000 over four years.